The holidays can be merry and bright, or the days you look forward to the least. Either way, try these self-care strategies to stay cool, calm, and collected in times of stress and busyness. They're proof that you can keep it simple.
7 Self-Care Strategies to Keep Holiday Stress at Bay
1. Set a positive intention for the day.
An intention is a prayer of sorts that invites spiritual support by remembering how you most want to feel.
Some intentions you might set before you walk into the party:
- May I feel like I’m enough.
- May I feel like I have enough.
- May I let go of negativity.
- May I allow joy to happen.
- May this day prove that peace exists.
- May I find humor and light today.
2. Meditate on it.
Meditation trains your body to pause and relax, especially when you feel overwhelmed. Meditation makes it easier to cope with stressful situations, and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time out of your day. It can put more life into your day. Even a few minutes a day can change everything.
If you want to start with some breathing exercises, here are a couple ideas:
- Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold that breath for 7 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat as often as needed.
- Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, and exhale through your nose for a count of 4.
3. Take a cat nap.
Cat naps are short, light, and refreshing. They can:
- Restore alertness, cognitive function, and memory
- Improve mood and help you think more clearly
- Restore wakefulness and enhance performance and learning
4. Stretch and reset.
Throughout the day, pause and stretch. If you can roll out a yoga mat, that’s wonderful, but you don't need to.
Stretching can improve your range of motion, increase circulation, and calm your mind. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, it'll give you a chance to clear your head and start again.
Bend so you don't break.
5. Go slow.
Sometimes life feels like a whirlwind and we’re fighting just to keep up with it all. Try this instead.
- Consciously choose to go more slowly.
- Check in at least 3 times throughout the day.
- Center yourself with your breathing.
Eat more slowly, talk more slowly, read more slowly, breathe more slowly.
When you notice yourself speeding through something, take a long, deep breath and come back to center.
6. Write yourself a love note.
When life feels like too much to handle, and the to-do list keeps growing, take a seat and write something down. Make another kind of list: a love list. This is a short note to yourself.
In this note, remind yourself about:
- Why you’re doing what you’re doing
- The small victories you’ve made along the way
- The invaluable lessons you now know
- Why you’re worthy of your own love and self-compassion
- What you’re grateful for (make it specific)
- Your intention to keep learning and keep smiling
7. Ask for help.
Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength. We all need help sometimes, and not only is that okay, but it’s a beautiful thing. It means that none of us know it all, and it allows us to keep learning new things.
. . .
Which of these things do you need to try this holiday season?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. Clear your head and take control of how you feel. Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 at-home practices that are all about you and how you *want* to feel. You can use them at night or anytime, and things will be... better.